: 3 out of 5
: Story we know and love
Spectacular Stage Show with Weak Story
: Some important characters shortchanged by new songs
and emphasis, one dance number questionable for kids
I really wasn’t too surprised when Disney chose to turn Frozen
into a Broadway musical.
The songs in
the movie were already Broadway worthy, and the movie was so popular that the
audience for it was built in.
the touring production made it to the Pantages Theater here in Hollywood, I
decided to go see it.
Sadly, it was
actually weaker than the movie.
If you’ve seen the movie (and who hasn’t), you know the
It follows two sisters, Elsa and
Elsa has magical powers that
create snow and turn things cold, and these powers have caused problems for her
all her life.
However, her secret gets
out on the day she is crowned Queen of their country of Arendelle.
When Elsa runs away, Anna tries to track her
down and talk her into coming back.
Can anything stop the
summer blizzard that Elsa has created?
I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie
when I first went to see it, so I was looking forward to seeing what they did
with it on the stage.
One of the reasons
for the movie’s success was the songs, and all of those songs are present and
just as fun here.
Naturally, the play
has added some original songs.
I found “I Can’t Lose You” to be the best of the bunch.
This duet between Elsa and Anna near the
beginning of the second act is as moving as anything we’ve seen for the
For fun, there’s “Hygge.”
Just about everyone in the main cast gets a
chance to shine.
The only reason I’m
debating about getting the soundtrack is because “I Can’t Lose You” was added
after the soundtrack was recorded so isn’t there.
And it’s the song I most want.
Of the songs we already love, “Let It Go” is
absolutely magical, and “In Summer” was as funny as ever.
Both are staged perfectly with great
additions to make you love them all the more.
And I loved what they did with the finale, which is all I will say.
However, the additional songs (and there really are a lot of
them), take away from the story.
especially important when it comes to Anna’s love life.
We actually spend more time seeing her
falling in love with Hans than we do seeing her relationship with Kristoff
If you know the story, you know
how important that relationship turns out to be.
Frankly, Kristoff’s character feels short
changed all the way around in the play as they spend more time on the
relationship between the sisters, even at a young age.
I absolutely agree that their relationship is
a key one in the story, but we need more time for Kristoff as well.
Then there’s the costumes for the song “Hygge.”
As much as I enjoyed the song (which reminds
me of “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King
), I didn’t appreciate the
costumes, or should I say lack of costumes, that the company was wearing.
The song makes many references to a sauna, so
the lack of costumes makes sense.
for most of the song, they are wearing enough to cover anything important.
However, for the kick line at the end, they
are wearing skin colored tights with nothing but branches to cover themselves
and their neighbors.
The audience I was
with was laughing and cheering.
I felt this wasn’t appropriate for a show aimed at kids.
If the target audience was adults, I wouldn’t
question it nearly as much, and if they’d kept their original costumes, I would
have been fine with it as well.
wasn’t appropriate for a show aimed at kids.
No, you don’t come close to actually seeing anything, but still – not in
a play aimed at kids.
On the other hand, I’ve got to give the production credit
for the effects.
This may be a stage
show, but they have worked out ways to make some spectacular effects take place
before our eyes.
Some of them are blink
and you miss them stage magic, and it was phenomenal.
I’m including Olaf in this.
The snowman is a puppet, and he and his
puppeteer are wonderful.
actor in the Sven costume is great.
And all the actors were wonderful.
The singing, the dancing, and the acting were
all top notch.
I teared up at the places
I do in the movie, so it worked overall.
Frozen has been a cultural phenomenon for so long, I
know this play will be around for a long time to come. While the play is good, it isn’t one of
Disney’s best movie to Broadway adaptations.